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Topic: I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 05:39PM - edited Jul 2, 2012 09:56PM by MT1

MT1 wrote:

I know many of you wear prosthesis, so I probably wouldn't be able to see or 'know', but. I look for you. I want to see you. I want to form a union, lol. I wish it were even more accepted, acceptable to be flat. To not wear prosthesis, not feel the need to, to opt out of reconstruction-if that is your choice. I do hope that women who see me, flat as can be, see there are options, that reconstruction isn't par for the course. I want to make flat beautiful, sexy, stylish. Normal. And it is normal for me, is becoming normal, but I am talking about society, norms and expectations. Breast cancer is not about 'boob jobs'. Yes, many of us opt for them, want and need them. But it is also about choosing to be flat. 

Geez, would I like to meet up with other flat chested women. I would love to take over a hotel, make noise, laugh, cry, be flat together-to see you. I want to meet other women who, like me, have decided not to reconstruct. I want to be able to see you and high five! I want to experience our society of normal.

I was picking up my vegetables from the CSA and a man could not stop looking at my chest, I wanted to yell, 'Breast Cancer did this!! Get it together, man!' I wish all of us would!

Rant complete.

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Jun 15, 2012 10:43PM seekthejoy wrote:

Home from the hospital, Day 2 post surgery, BMX, delighted to see this thread!  You have made my day.  Count me in for the Flat Fest! 

Dx 12/30/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/9/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 1/31/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/31/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Surgery 6/12/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/12/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 16, 2012 01:13AM Outfield wrote:

I've been trying to stay away from the boards and get back to my life more, but it's threads like these that keep me coming back, darn it.  

I would love to see other flat women.  How people treat me is kind of a non-issue.  Nobody has ever commented and I don't see anybody staring.  I think I look fairly proportional because I'm narrow-hipped.  But it's an issue for me!  I feel so different. Sometimes I feel streamlined and comfortable, but sometimes I feel like shouting "Can't you see how maimed I am!"  Such a mixture.  

I have found that I love to take off my shirt at home in the summer.  Before cancer, I might have stripped to a sports bra, but I never would have gone totally bare.  It's so comfortable.  Wish I wouldn't be making a major statement if I did yardwork that way.

I am so far in the middle of desert nowhere I probably won't make it to any Flat-Fest, but  I hope you all do have one somewhere.

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Jun 16, 2012 08:53AM Jo5 wrote:

Mt1
Love this thread thanks for the rant. I also don't care what others think just stop greeting my chest first instead of my eyes. I love my choice because it was my choice. I'm all for the union
The Flat Fest.. There is nothing abnormal about us. Thanks for putting it out there......lol

Dx 12/7/2011, DCIS, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes Surgery 1/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jun 16, 2012 06:14PM Flat_for_Life wrote:

Staples/Drains out yesterday.....feels so incredibly wonderful!  Went to buy some button up shirts and sports bras (ugh)....very depressing.  My friend took me shopping after my dr appt., and I had my first annoying experience.  We took some clothes into the handicapped changing area (because I certainly could not dress and undress myself) to give us more room to maneuver around.  When my friend opened the door to try and find me yet ANOTHER size to try....2 store employees said,"We like to keep that stall for people with wheelchairs...is that your mother you are with?"   WHAT???????  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????? I BECAME SO ENRAGED....... I WALKED RIGHT TO THE DOOR....WEARING STORE SPORTS BRA (WHICH DID NOT FIT) OVER DRAIN DRESSINGS AND RAISED MY VOICE AND SAID....."I AM HANDICAPPED!!!!!!!!!"  I could not stop myself....I had been looking at myself in the mirrors...trying to find shirts that would button up...not look ridiculous...yet go over my hips.  Trying on sports bras that use to fit correctly....yet now seemed awkward...unflattering (no pun intended). 

Was I ever that ignorant before my BMX???  I hope not.....I wanted to scream....CAN'T YOU SEE THAT I AM NOT WHOLE????  I AM MISSING PART OF MYSELF....

I suppose there will be many of those experiences to come.....I guess I should have started a different rant....DIFFERENT THREAD....DON'T JUDGE MY USE OF THE HANDICAPPED STALL!!!!

I have to say as I sit here now thinking about it...I am really proud that I went to that door...stood there for those women to see...and never gave my flat chest a thought....it was if I was standing up for all flat chested women in that moment!!!!

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/6/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 16, 2012 07:03PM CLC wrote:

I am flat on one side and a D cup on the other.  I would think it would be noticeable.  And, part of me wants to be approached and asked about my experience.  I keep thinking someone might come up to me that has had breast cancer, or that is going through it now and say something to me about what I think is my obvious flatness.  I would be very willing to talk to people about my experience with mastectomy and I think of myself as showing strength in my willingness to go out lopsided. 

I think that this odd wish of mine to be noticed as flat and approached about it is related to this thread.  I think I just don't want to feel isolated.  I want it to be NORMAL.  I want to be seen for my strength and appreciated for my self-ness.  I want to know it is comfortable to one and all.

So...I think I understand your rant.  I, too, want to see other women who are flat and I want to be seen.  I, too, want to connect and feel connected.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb Surgery 10/28/2010 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 10/6/2011 Mastectomy: Left
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Jun 16, 2012 08:04PM coraleliz wrote:

Flat for life- I often use the handicap shower at the gym because it has a door. It's used by other non-handicap women at busy times. I've yet to see a person in a wheelchair at my gym. I use it because I don't want to startle others. Don't like to educate others. Found that this gets me lectures in nutrition/supplements & stories about someone they know who knows someone..........As well as stupid questions"didn't you get your mamogram" & how they just had their 1st mamo..... The reason I think it will startle others goes back to an experience when I first became a nurse & went to check a patient's pulse. I didn't know the patient didn't have a hand & when I placed my hand on his wrist & discovered this, I jumped(very high,I'm afraid). I felt awful. I don't want to make others feel awkward.

CLC- I understand what you are saying. It is patients I've taken care of over the years(mostly UMXr's) that led me to my decision to have a BMX for bilateral cancer. There acceptance  of it, their wisdom, humor. My attempts at enlightening others have failed. So I stay in the "closet" when it comes to talking about it. Although I couldn't be flatter in my appearance.  Nobody notices.

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 16, 2012 08:21PM bangotti40 wrote:

Thank you!  I love this.

I was just wondering the other day why I have absolutely no desire to have recontruction...it just doesn't bother me to be flat chested!

Dx 7/26/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/5/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 8/29/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 16, 2012 11:21PM Flat_for_Life wrote:

Coraleliz-Thank you for your insight.  I guess the answer to my question is....yes...there will be other ignorant comments to come.  I can not believe that someone actually asked you if you had had a mamo!!!!  Nutrition/Supplements???  Unbelievable!!!

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/6/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 17, 2012 02:34PM Rowan47 wrote:

Thank you for starting this thread. I feel honoured to join you all Kiss What a great sense of comraderie! I had BMX last August and am now used to being, and feeling, flat. My oldest daughter tells me how proud she is that I didn't feel the need to re-construct. She is right. I still feel attractive, strong and hopeful. My husband has no issue with it. He said, "I am more interested in other parts of you". Having said that, I do sometimes feel sad when I see other women in low tops etc and remember how I once was....Power to us all!!
Dx 2/16/2011, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/21/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 4/4/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/25/2011 AT Surgery 8/17/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 17, 2012 04:12PM sus_ wrote:

I'm hoping to join you ladies soon.  I had a mastectomy with an implant.  I just hate being lopsided.  I really would prefer being flat chested.  I'm thinking that if I have an outfit or something that would look better, I'll just wear the falsies that day.

Seeing the PS July 3rd to start the process.  I'm kind of scared because I let the PS and breast surgeon talk me out of a bilateral mastectomy the first time.  I had already had chemo so didn't have it in me to fight for exactly what I wanted.  I'm ready now though.

1/4/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+, Mastectomy with implant
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Jun 17, 2012 04:44PM Laural wrote:

I have to wear a compression sleeve with gauntlet due to lymphedema on the right side. That is enough constriction for me so go flat most of the time. I work with school kids and have never had one comment from them. My problem is that I am a larger woman...the first time I looked down and saw my pudgy abdomen staring back at me, I did miss the "camoflauge" of my breasts which hid this from me previously. I do have to be careful what types of clothes I wear unless I want folks to think I am pregnant. But when the summer heat is here and I don't have AC, flat is the only way to go. 

Dx 9/18/11; Stage 1 IDC on left, 1.2 cm. Grade 2, 0/2 nodes positive; Stage 1 ILC on right, 1 cm. Grade 2, 0/13 nodes positive; Acute leukemia as young adult and secondary MDS ever since. Through it all, God is faithful.
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Jun 17, 2012 06:55PM pamelahope wrote:

This thread is giving me strength. I am undergoing chemo now and don't think I want reconstruction. I would rather have nothing than breasts that are not real to me.
MIT I thank you for posting the picture of Corrolla???? I don't know who she is but she proved to me you can still be beautiful and flat. She looks good flat!
Pam

BRACA2 Positive Surgery 9/23/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 17, 2012 06:56PM crystalphm wrote:

Laural, I hate my pudgy belly!!! But you know, I took a piece of paper and covered a model's breasts in a magazine, and her bottom of her body looked "unusual" without breasts too...so we really do take on an unusual appearance without breasts, especially if the mastectomy was radical and we are now concave.

I also don't have air conditioning and when I have to wear the lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet, enough is enough, I would never attempt to even wear a cami on those days. Just a tank top and compression gear.

I still get annoyed at all the bare breasts in movies. I wish I could get over this.

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Jun 18, 2012 12:10PM alexandria58 wrote:

So looking forward to Flat Fest in Fall 2012.  New York or Bust.  

How about Saturday, September 22?     MT1, suggestions on venues?

BTW, any flat sisters who are singers or musicians in the New York-New Jersey-Pa area interested in getting a music group together?  Singers?  It would be one way to publicize flatness.  (I also play guitar.)  

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jun 18, 2012 03:29PM Linda-n3 wrote:

Alexandria, I sing a bit - not a "singer" but sing with a choir and enjoy lots of different types of music. Am putting Sept 22 on my calendar and hoping work doesn't interfere!

Linda - "Loving to learn; learning to love." "Gratitude leads to joy. Joy leads to prayer. Prayer leads to gratitude." "Oh, what fresh new hell is this???" - Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory Dx 7/14/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 19/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 8/2011, IDC, Stage IIIC Dx 9/2012, IDC, Stage IIIC Dx 12/2012, IDC, Stage IV
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Jun 18, 2012 04:47PM MT1 wrote:

Alexandria5.

Would we sing in a flat key? :) 

September 22? I can do that. Should we plan a day long get together? It will still be nice out, we can walk, eat, shop? How many are interested? Are you far enough away that you would like to stay somewhere? Should I check out some hotels?

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Jun 19, 2012 09:42AM alexandria58 wrote:

Maybe a restaurant for lunch, but not too expensive - Columbus Avnue where we can maybe hang out in Central Park afterwards or in the Village, where we can wander through little shops.  

I'm planning on a day trip.

We can sing flat or sharp.  The point is to sing.

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jun 19, 2012 11:58PM coraleliz wrote:

September 22, that's my birthday. Maybe a trip to New York for my birthday? OK, i'm dreaming.........but maybe.......

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 20, 2012 10:44AM mumito wrote:

Sept road trip to NewYork sounds like fun.Might consider bringing a few canadian ladies down.???

Dx 4/23/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 20, 2012 11:50AM MT1 wrote:

Come one come all! Like I said, I want to see you! I almost want to start a FlatFest thread, so this opportunity doesn't get lost in this thread.

Anyway, my rant continues and I have outted myself on my blog. I am a craft book author and artist and I use my blog to promote myself and connect with my readers, many of whom are also survivors. My readers know that I went through treatment while writing my second book and I have mentioned mt decision not to reconstruct, though just in passing.

melanietesta.com/2012/06/looki... 

Please come check it out.

Melly 

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Jun 20, 2012 04:05PM dusterella wrote:

Great thread!  I wish I wasn't on the opposite side of the country from NYC, or I'd join you!  I just had my BMX on Friday, June 15th, and am really loving the breastless feeling so far - even moreso now that I got my drains removed today...also, I think it will get me to start working out more to try to slim down my tummy that is now staring me in the face - ha!

 That Flickr photo is SO inspiring!  Love it, thank you so much for posting. Although my scars will never look as great as hers do - I have more fat on my body, so they are a bit bumpy/lumpy.  I'm hoping that will improve as I heal though - some of it may be from fluid/bruising/swelling. 

 I am really interested in reading the essay that was referred to in one of the first replies to the OP...where can I find that?? 

Dx 5/7/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/14/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/1/2012 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 21, 2012 09:12PM MT1 wrote:

I bet you have seen this: 

http://todayhealth.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/21/12343787-breast-cancer-survivor-can-now-swim-topless-in-seattles-public-pools?lite

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Jun 21, 2012 09:44PM dustycat wrote:

Great idea...flat chested sistas!  I am in the southwestern US...and currently only working 1/2 time so will not have the $$ to travel...but inspiring idea. I don't mind being flat-chested. Just had bilat mx in Oct 2011 so still getting used to looking at myself...especially the scars.  I do have a question: Has anyone had the "dog ears" removed? How did you go about finding a surgeon to do this? My surgeon claims that it cannot be done.  I do not believe her. I also wonder if this means I still have breast tissue in these "dog ears".

Thank you all for also looking for flat-chested women...I find myself looking for others much of the time when I am out and about. 

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Jun 21, 2012 09:53PM crystalphm wrote:

dustycat, There is a woman named starak (SP?) I believe who has had her dog ears removed. She talks about this in the thread All Things Bra and Prosthesis and she is thrilled with the end result.

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Jun 21, 2012 10:08PM Tina337 wrote:

She is amazing! No recon AND a LE sleeve! Finding a bathing suit that doesn't bother my truncal LE has had me wishing I could swim without worry. Not sure I have her kind of moxie!

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 21, 2012 10:11PM MT1 wrote:

Moxie for all! I love this word. Here is a video of her talking about her needs: 

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/City-reverses-course-allows-breast-cancer-survivor-to-swim-topless-159832105.html?tab=video&c=y

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Jun 21, 2012 10:26PM Kindergarten wrote:

I just loved the title of your thread, MT1.  I do the same thing, if I know someone has had BC, I don't mean to, just curious. I have been flat chested for 8 years now. I don't even wear by forms anymore. I am so lazy!! When I comtemplated having reconstruction, I opted for a complete hysterectomy instead. Since I had  a bi-lateral masectomy, they wanted to do a transflap procedure and the plastic surgeon back then said probable 4 surgeries to complete. Hubby did not want me to go through more surgeries.. I can wear tops now that I could not before. hugs to you all!!!!Smile
Kathy Dx 11/17/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/5/2004 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/29/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 6/5/2005 Breast Dx IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 21, 2012 10:37PM SheChirple wrote:

I hope you don't mind if I chime in. Although I have had reconstruction, I just want to say I admire you all fo your choices.  When I saw this in active topics I had just read this article: WOOH OO AND AMEN.  Thank God for those of us strong enough to fight for ourselves.

Seattle pool allows topless breast cancer survivor

Published - Jun 21 2012 03:41PM PST

MANUEL VALDES, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) - A Seattle breast cancer survivor whose breasts were surgically removed has gained the permission to swim topless at a city pool.

But Jodi Jaecks wants to make sure her privilege is also extended to other breast cancer survivors who want to swim comfortably.

"Initially when I heard about the reversal, I was elated. Then it came that it wasn't a policy change, it was just an exception for me. Then I was quite deflated. It seemed like it was a reaction that it was just meant to appease me," the 47-year-old said Thursday.

Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams announced Wednesday that he was giving Jaecks an exception to the department's clothing policy.

"Our original concern stems from our responsibility to accommodate the needs of all our patrons. In this case, I see nothing that might alarm the public," Williams said in a statement. He was reacting to an article about Jaecks that was published in The Stranger weekly newspaper, which also ran a picture of her topless.

Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter said Thursday that Williams has decided to create a committee made up of cancer survivors, parks staff, King County health representatives and others to come up with a new policy.

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body. Dx 10/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/28/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/23/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/14/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 5/24/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 6/9/2014 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 22, 2012 12:34AM - edited Jun 22, 2012 12:46AM by coraleliz

Since I'm about the same size as Jodi, I think what I'd do is wear boys swim trunks without a top, put on a cap & goggles & leave them guessing. Perhaps I'll try it somewhere "out of town" when I'm travelling. But for my workouts at the gym I belong to, I just ordered another suit. I don't have her pain issues

edited-Ask for forgiveness instead of permission. But I really think I could get away with it. And I wouldn't be sincere in my asking for forgiveness(just a formality)

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 22, 2012 12:58AM edwh001 wrote:

I'm lop sided, only had one removed, ins would not pay for a double  (a** holes) if I ever save up enough money you can bet I'll have the other removed and be free. Never wear a bra at home but have to when going out, I was kinda big chested. Frown

Emmy

Roll Tide Dx 8/4/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2006 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/21/2006 AC Hormonal Therapy 11/22/2006

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